Library in the News: January 2016 Edition

January was a month filled with awards and honors.

The Library welcomed Gene Luen Yang as the fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Michael Cavna of The Washington Post covered the inauguration ceremony and wrote, “Yang — a charismatic, high-energy speaker — was able to present himself dually as both authentically dimensional scholar and simplified cartoon character. This touch was brilliant, because not only did Yang offer a humbly nerdy avatar that the grade-schoolers could instantly warm up to, and perhaps some even identify with; he also was displaying the very strength that most distinguishes him as an ambassador: the ability to connect through the magical marriage of words and pictures.”

“In reflecting on his new role as ambassador, Mr. Yang said he found his wife, Theresa, a development director for an elementary school, a tremendous resource. He said that he was inspired by her program for encouraging students to read and write in different genres and that she was enthusiastic about the ambassadorship,” said George Gene Gustines for the New York Times.

“Does anyone say no to this? It’s an amazing opportunity,” Yang told Sue Corbett of Publishers Weekly.

Yang was featured on the Kojo Nnamdi Nnamdai Show website in an interview discussing his role, Asian-American identity and comic book culture.

Kelly McEvers of NPR spoke with Yang about becoming the first graphic novelist to be named ambassador.

Yang was also featured in stories on CCTV and Washington Post KidsPost.

The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize concert honoring Willie Nelson aired nationwide on PBS in January. Many outlets not only reported on the broadcast but also on Nelson’s Gershwin-inspired album that drops in February.

Speaking of prizes, winners of the 2015 Holland Prize for architectural drawing were announced in January. The Smithsonian Magazine and Fine Books & Collections Magazine highlighted the winners, who were actually only honorable mentions.

Pic of the Week: Willie Nelson on PBS Tonight!

Make sure to tune in to PBS tonight for the star-studded concert tribute to Willie Nelson, the 2015 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The concert airs on PBS stations nationwide at 9 p.m. ET on (check local listings). The program also will be broadcast at a later date via the American […]

Library in the News: November 2015 Edition

Willie Nelson was the talk of the town as the Library celebrated his work and career during a concert in November, as he received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. “When Willie took the stage to accept the Gershwin prize, you could see the pride on his face,” wrote Brendan Kownacki for Hollywood on the […]

Library Bestows Gershwin Prize on Willie Nelson

(The following story was written by Mark Hartsell, editor of the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) Whenever Willie Nelson’s bus rolls into town, actor and host Don Johnson said, you know you’re in for a good time, a big party. Wednesday night at DAR Constitution Hall was no exception. The Library of Congress […]

Rosanne Cash Curates a Carnegie Hall Exhibit with AFC

(The following post was written by Stephen Winick and originally appeared on Folklife Today, the blog of the American Folklife Center.) When Rosanne Cash, recognized by the Library as one of the most compelling figures in popular music, was asked to curate a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York, she graciously brought […]

Willie Nelson to Receive Gershwin Prize

(The following is an article featured in the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette, written by editor Mark Hartsell.) So great is his impact on music, even folks who never bought a country album instantly recognize Willie Nelson: the headband, grizzled beard and long braids; the quavering, nasal voice and off-beat phrasing; the sound […]

Pics of the Week: We Write the Songs

Last week, the Library hosted the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation for its annual “We Write the Songs” concert, featuring the songwriters performing and telling the stories behind their own music. Taking the stage to perform some of their most notable music were Ne-Yo, Natalie Merchant (also formerly of 10,000 Maniacs), Donald Fagan […]

Library in the News: January 2015 Edition

More than 112,000 patrons visited the Library of Congress exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor”  during its brief 10-week viewing, which ended Jan. 19. “Much has been written about Magna Carta’s current visit to America, particularly in relation to the inchoate liberties it birthed. Rightly so,” wrote Kevin R. Kosar for The Weekly Standard. “The […]

Instrumentally Yours

The late 19th century gave rise to some truly imaginative, public-minded Americans. We all know about the Thomas Edisons, the Henry Fords, the Garrett Morgans. But there were others who, while not household names today, lived very interesting lives and left behind fascinating legacies. Among these we find Dayton C. Miller, born on a farm […]

Library in the News: November 2014 Edition

The Library of Congress featured prominently in November news with the opening of a special exhibition and the celebration of a special individual. On Nov. 6, “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” opened with much fanfare, featuring the 1215 Magna Carta, on loan from Lincoln Cathedral in England and one of only four surviving copies issued […]